International Dialogue on Migration: “Diasporas and development: bridging societies and states” (IOM)
This report presents the outcomes of the Diaspora Ministerial Conference, organised by IOM on 18 and 19 June 2013 in Geneva, where policy- and lawmakers of 55 States shared experiences and thoughts on diaspora engagements, policies and programmes.
The increasing mobility of persons all over the world created a growing diaspora community, including an increasing impact in the social, cultural and political lives of their countries of origin and host countries. Diasporas are increasingly recognized as key actors, not only in national, bilateral and global affairs, but also in the migration-development nexus. Hence, on national level, government bodies have been established with responsibility for diaspora engagement and measures have been taken to facilitate this engagement.
The Ministerial Conference aimed to challenge and test the IOM-strategic approach (based on 3 E’s: engage, enable and empower) in the light of national experiences, shared over the course of four sessions: (a) Diasporas and societies; (b) diasporas and states; (c) diasporas and development and (d) diasporas and crisis.
The main outcomes are captured in five chapters:
- Chapter I: Diasporas build bridges between societies and create transnational communities of mutual development benefit to the host and origin countries.
- Chapter II: States can engage, enable and empower diasporas for development purposes through appropriate communication, outreach and partnership policies and actions at home and abroad.
- Chapter III: Diaspora resources, both financiel and non-financial, can leverage family, community and national development efforts in host and origin countries, if there are incentives and mechanisms to support this.
- Chapter IV: Strategic partnerships between states, international organizations, civil society and the private sector, provide a framework to engange diasporas and empower them to share and transfer their resources.
- Chapter V: Diasporas can play a critical role in crisis situations by applying their knowledge, experience, skills, networks and links to support and assistance both during and after the crisis.